Baseball / Sports

O's double up on A's, 8-4

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Coming off a heartbreaking, walk-off loss to open their 10-game, West Coast road trip Friday night, the Baltimore Orioles' resilience was tested Saturday night against an Oakland Athletics club with the best record in baseball.

But the Orioles rebounded quickly, roughing up former teammate Jason Hammel in a 8-4 win over the A's before an announced sellout crowd of 36,067 at O.co Coliseum.

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones sparked the Orioles by driving in five runs, tying his career high, including a three-run homer off Hammel just three batters into the game.

The top of the Orioles' order propelled their best offensive output in six games. Leadoff hitter Nick Markakis had four hits, and the top three batters -- Markakis, Steve Pearce and Jones -- were a combined 9-for-13 with three extra-base hits and six runs scored.

The Orioles hit three homers, including Chris Davis' solo blast in the ninth inning off former Oriole Jim Johnson, his 16th blast of the season. The Orioles now have 119 for the season, passing the Toronto Blue Jays (117) for the most in baseball.

With the win, the Orioles (53-43) have won four of five games after a walk-off loss this season.

They also kept their American League East rivals at bay, maintaining a four-game lead over Toronto and the New York Yankees, both of which won Saturday.

In the Orioles' first game Friday, their first since the All-Star break, they took a two-run lead into the bottom of the ninth, only to see the game end on Josh Donaldson's walk-off, three-run homer against closer Zach Britton.

Britton had an opportunity for redemption Saturday. Entering the game with two on and two outs in the ninth, Britton converted his 16th save in 19 chances by striking out Nick Punto to end the game.

The Orioles jumped on Hammel early. They chased the right-hander, acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a bold, rotation-boosting trade July 5, three batters into the third inning, spoiling his first home start with his new team.

With runners on first and second in the first inning, Jones took a 2-0 fastball from Hammel into the left-field seats for his 17th homer of the season.

Three batters later, shortstop J.J. Hardy followed with a solo shot, taking a hanging, 2-2 curveball over the left-field fence for his fourth homer of the season, putting the Orioles up 4-0.

After Jones drew a leadoff walk and Nelson Cruz singled to open the third inning, Chris Davis laced an RBI double into the left-center-field gap. That was Hammel's last pitch Saturday.

Hammel, the Orioles' Opening Day starter last season, allowed five runs and six hits in two innings -- the first time this year he has lasted fewer than five innings. It was also just the second time in 19 starts Hammel has allowed multiple homers.

Staked to an early 5-0 lead, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen won his third straight decision, holding the A's to three runs and five hits in five innings.

It was Chen's shortest start in nine outings, but it was also the eighth time in nine outings that he's allowed three or fewer runs.

After Chen gave up a solo homer to Brandon Moss in the third, Jones stepped to the plate in the fourth with two runners in scoring position after a single by Markakis and double by Pearce.

Jones bounced a two-run single past Oakland reliever Jose Otero and into center field, giving him five RBIs on the night and tying a career high set on July 27, 2008, as the Orioles went up 7-1.

The Athletics (60-37) chipped away at the lead on Jed Lowrie's two-run, two-out double in the fourth. Lowrie added another run-scoring hit in the sixth with an RBI single off reliever Brad Brach.

Otherwise, the Orioles bullpen bent but didn't break. Despite allowing a run, Brach gave the Orioles two innings, and Darren O'Day was one out from giving Britton the night off. .

After O'Day allowed a pair of two-out singles, Britton fell behind Punto 3-0, but came back to strike out the A's No. 9 hitter and end the game.

(c)2014 The Baltimore Sun

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